A Look at the Clasped Hands Fund Through the Eyes of our Executive Director

Do you ever have that moment where you know that you are doing exactly what you are meant to do in this life? Some might call it knowing your purpose.

That moment happened for me in 2010. In August 2010, I was offered the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director for the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation. It was a perfect job for me. I had an opportunity to combine my professional experiences with my personal love for my Sorority.JPW1

I left my little {azure} blue house in Ashland, Ohio, packed up Sadie the cat, and moved 10 hours away to start this new adventure. During my first week on the job, our Foundation staff was teaching me the ropes. And, then it happened. Kristin Best Heath walked in my office with an application in her hands. She started talking quickly about what the Clasped Hands Fund was and how the application process worked and in that moment I saw it. A name I recognized. It was the name of a chapter sister who I had not seen since I left Ashland.

This sister was facing a difficult time in her life and just needed some help. Her application went through the review process and she was awarded a Clasped Hands Fund Emergency Grant. It’s a grant that is there to help alumnae facing financial need. In most cases, we will help sisters we may never know or meet.

At the end of my first week on the job, I signed a check to my own chapter sister in her time of need. It’s an anonymous grant and until she’s ready to share her story, only she and I know about this incredible gift that offered her a hand up when she needed it most.

Each application starts the same… “I never thought I would be in this position” or “I never thought this would happen to me.” With each application, our eyes well with tears. Our hearts hurt. And we always wish we could do more.

And, with each sister who seeks our help, I carry their stories with me. I don’t always remember their names, but when they tell me they were helped and what the circumstances were, I go back to that moment that I first read her application and how it touched my heart.

Sisters, you will never know how your generosity is impacting others until a sister hugs you and says “thank you” for changing my life.

Jennifer Polley Webb, Epsilon Nu – Ashland University

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